ELA is just one initiative of a larger economic development program.
The 2018 Economic Development Framework that was delivered as part of the Our Centre-Ville Project outlined key objectives to help expand and attract investment in Beaumont as well as increase overall presence in the region and abroad. A key strategic objective from this report highlighted an opportunity for Beaumont to explore emerging sectors such as advanced technologies and commercialization testing as opportunities for investment attraction.
Thousands of residents leave Beaumont every day to work elsewhere in the region. We want to attract and build an industry here to create job opportunities right here within our community. This will not only diversify our tax base, making it more sustainable in the long-term, but it will also further enhance our quality of life such as less commuting.
We know that knowledge-based industries are a great fit for Beaumont as we develop our newly annexed land for business parks and industry. Petrochemical and heavy industry already exist in the region, and they are not the best fit for our municipality. With Beaumont’s strategic location near the airport, our young demographic as a community, our high quality of life and sense of community, innovative industries are a fit. The ‘digital economy’ alone in Alberta now is larger than forestry and even agriculture.
The ELA Autonomous Shuttle Pilot Project is not the only project we are doing from an economic development perspective. With our 500+ home-based businesses in our community, a need has been identified for space where these businesses and others can evolve and grow. We will be opening a collaborative business innovation centre in the coming months which will be a co-work/incubator type operation where these entrepreneurs can work out of, access services to help their business grow and prosper. These types of opportunities and locations have not existed in Beaumont before.
Between the ELA pilot project, our growing presence in the region, the broader marketing and investment attraction initiatives of Edmonton Global, more investors from abroad are going to be looking into Beaumont wanting more facts, statistics and information on our community. We have recently launched www.investinbeaumont.ca as a portal to provide much of this information.